Travelling with Kids

Travelling with Kids blog by Little Mash Boutique

Look, we're not super travellers & have not been all over the world but we do like to get away with our boys - normally by car not Boeing 747. This year we're taking Jeremy's fathers campervan for two weeks & that's either going to be a trip to remember or one to quickly forget. Have you got any tips for me? We're used to living on top of each other, our house isn't that much bigger than the campervan {exaggeration but it feels that way most days} so if the weather is fine we'll be good but if rains for days on end we're in big trouble & may be forced to abort! I've been racking my brain to think what will make this trip {or any trip for that matter} easier & this is what I've concluded;


Individual lunchboxes or snack bags are a good idea when travelling. We normally travel with a small chiller bag with snacks & drinks, I've learned that if I can pass my boys food then I know I can get more peaceful minutes out of them. Seb seems to have outgrown his car sickness - I'm sorry, I have no tips if this is something you suffer but I'd love to hear them if you have something you swear by!

I'm not a camper but I have no doubt you could impart some tips with me. The camper has a bar sized fridge so we'll be shopping every 1-2 days & eating mostly BBQ which suits us all fine. I found a couple of articles HERE & HERE on camping with children. 

Child friendly spots

Thank goodness for the internet that allows us to research all the best spots for kids. There's no chance you'll catch us dining out for dinner at a restaurant but you will find us with takeout from somewhere delicious & at a park or the beach. My favourite way to find new hot spots is normally on Instagram, someone will share & then I save it, I have a folder titled "places to visit", do you do that too? Here are some of our local-ish favourites;

  • Lake Taupo Holiday Resort - this is our favourite place to stay as a family, the pools are hot, the accomodation nice, the amenities clean & tidy, and the big screen TV & the swim up bar a obvious favourites! What I love most is it doesn't matter what the weather is you can swim if it's hot or swim if it's cold.  Seb & I once swam for 7 hours, we love it that much.
  • Punnet Cafe - a well known spot here in Hamilton so it can be a little busy but it ticks all the boxes - cafe, berry picking, fresh fruit ice cream, flowers, fresh bread, a playground & the most darling store. If you're calling through make sure you stop in.
  • The Village Cafe - this one is less busy & is located on the opposite side of Hamilton in Whatawhata. With petting animals, books, colouring in & a wonderful playground it makes a great stop for lunch with girlfriends
  • Minogue Park - we live in the neighbourhood & it still manages to cater to the age range of our children, and with a dairy nearby we often spend hot afternoons here with ice blocks
  • Te Kohwai Park - we like to take our Webber down here & lay under under a tree, the boys will kick balls, ride bikes & play on the playground for hours
  • Te Aroha Hot Pools - it's about $20 for the five of us to swim, fully fenced so none of our boys can run away from us {I find the local swimming pools very stressful} & there is a spa so Jeremy & I take turns at watching the children & soaking in the spa. 

Don't be in a hurry

Add on an extra 1-2 hours of drive time. Allow for pit stops. I'll deliberately find a park & run the boys {that sounds so wrong but you boy mama's can understand}. Our children don't always sleep when we travel. We have a TV in our car & sometimes they'll watch a movie but that largely depends on if Jeremy & I want to listen to it or not. I have seen these cool iPad holders that attach to the headrest of your seat, a great option if you're ok with movies while you travel. 

More food...and entertainment

We're ok with device/television time in our family, we all enjoy movies & frequently have 'Friday Night Movie Night', I still think this is more about the treats than the movie for them. I will pack a couple books when we go away, in fact this trip I plan on bringing along Harry Potter & reading that at bed time while we're in the camper. I started reading that with Eli a few years ago but we didn't keep it up so I thought we could start again with all 5 of us. I will also pack a few small games like Connect Four, Phase 10 & Guess Who the card game as well as a bag of Hot Wheel Cars.  

Throw out the routine, be flexible

I find it really hard to maintain bedtimes while we're away, often we're trying to squish lots in to a small amount of time or we have company or we have wired boys. So instead of insisting on a 7pm bedtime we just go with the flow & then February rolls around & I wonder how the heck I will get them back into routine for school...every, single, year! My rationale is we're memory making so we go with it. If the behaviour is starting to go by the wayside I will force an early night but mostly while we're away we just prioritise fun, welcome sleep ins & accept day naps. 

Happy holidays, enjoy making memories, taking it slow & the company of those you love most. Ren. X


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